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Public Library And Art Gallery, King Street, Castle Douglas

A Category B Listed Building in Castle Douglas, Dumfries and Galloway

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Latitude: 54.9421 / 54°56'31"N

Longitude: -3.9273 / 3°55'38"W

OS Eastings: 276638

OS Northings: 562529

OS Grid: NX766625

Mapcode National: GBR 1C09.K5

Mapcode Global: WH4W0.N12M

Plus Code: 9C6RW3RF+V3

Entry Name: Public Library And Art Gallery, King Street, Castle Douglas

Listing Name: King Street, Castle Douglas Library with Art Gallery, Boundary Wall, Railings, Gates and Gatepiers

Listing Date: 18 March 2004

Category: B

Source: Historic Scotland

Source ID: 397257

Historic Scotland Designation Reference: LB49671

Building Class: Cultural

Location: Castle Douglas

County: Dumfries and Galloway

Town: Castle Douglas

Electoral Ward: Castle Douglas and Crocketford

Traditional County: Kirkcudbrightshire

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Castle Douglas


George Washington Browne, 1902-4 with later additions and Art Gallery, 1938. Single storey and attic, roughly L-plan Jacobean library with mid-20th century flat-roofed wing extending to rear, and 1938 Art Gallery to SE (side). Original building gabled; round stair turret in re-entrant angle with ogee-shaped dome; large mullioned and transomed window to NW gable; shouldered stack to SE. Rake-jointed, tooled, snecked red sandstone with ashlar dressings. Roll-moulded eaves course to original building; string course and deep billeted eaves course to tower. Predominantly bipartite mullioned windows with roll-moulded ashlar margins; chamfered window margins to mid 20th century extension.

SW (PRINCIPAL) ELEVATION: 2-bay gable to right; 2-leaf timber panelled door to left bay in stop-chamfered, roll-moulded architrave; flanking bipartite windows. 4-light mullioned window to right bay; bipartite windows to attic. Slightly recessed wing to left with tripartite window. 3-stage stair tower in re-entrant angle with timber panelled door in chamfered architrave and 2 narrow windows in round-arched surrounds at 2nd stage. 1938 Art Gallery to outer right with Art Deco style pediment and bronze plaque in roll-moulded surround (see Notes for inscription).

NW (STREET) ELEVATION: gable end with large 5-light transomed and mullioned window with round-arched lights and billeted moulding above.

NE (REAR) ELEVATION: wing to right with 2 bipartite windows. 3-bay gable to left with advanded flat-roofed extension at ground. Art Gallery recessed to outer left.

Leaded casements; some later timber casements with hopper openings to upper sections. Shouldered corniced stack. Ashlar-coped skews. Graded grey slate. Cast-iron rainwater goods.

INTERIOR: inner lobby with half-glazed timber panelled door, and glazed timber screen with leaded lights. Ribbed ceiling to main reading room; remains of pilastered timber partition with cornice. Timber spiral staircase in tower.

BOUNDARY WALL AND RAILINGS: rectangular panelled gatepiers with tall, corniced pyramidal caps. Random rubble boundary wall with ashlar coping and cast-iron railings. 2-leaf cast-iron gates.

Statement of Interest

Occupies a very prominent position on the main street in Castle Douglas. Old photographs show that there was originally a broken round-arched pediment style canopy over the door, supported on consoled brackets which flanked the bipartite windows. The library was built with a donation of about #2800 from the Scottish-American industrialist Andrew Carnegie. There are two other Carnegie libraries in Dumfries and Galloway: Annan Library (1906), which was also designed by George Washington Browne, and the Ewart Library in Dumfries (1904). George Washington Browne was an authority on library design, and published a pamphlet on this subject. He designed a number of other Carnegie Libraries, including Edinburgh Central Library (1887-90), Jedburgh Library (1900) and Kelso Library. Castle Douglas Library is considerably smaller than all of these, but has similar detailing, most notably the large mullioned windows. Upstairs was a flat for the librarian/caretaker. This seems to be quite an unusual arrangement. The Art Gallery was added in 1938 with a donation from Mrs Ethel S G Bristowe. The Bronze plaque is inscribed: THE ART GALLERY WAS BUILT AND PRESENTED TO PROVOST FORDE THE MAGISTRATES AND COUNCILLORS OF THE BURGH OF CASTLE DOUGLAS BY MRS ETHEL SUSAN GRAHAM BRISTOWE OF CRAIG BALMACLELLAN AD1938. It is likely that the extension to the SE was built at about the same time. The fine Monkey Puzzle tree outside the library was planted in about 1920.

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